President Donald Trump’s Attorney General nominee William Barr told Senators last week that he wouldn’t prosecute cannabis companies operating legally in states that have ended prohibition of the drug.
Barr, during a Senate confirmation hearing, called the current system of federal prohibition combined with legalization in some states untenable. According to U.S. News & World Report:
Attorney general nominee Bill Barr says he would “not go after” marijuana companies in states where cannabis is legal.
Barr said at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday that companies had relied on Obama-era guidance that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded that guidance, known as the Cole Memo, last year.
Barr’s testimony is just one indication that changing societal attitudes toward cannabis prohibition are making inroads among politicians. And the push toward legalizing cannabis is largely bipartisan, often breaking along generational lines as much as partisan ones.
As Marijuana Moment reports, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, is making waves in favor of more permissive cannabis attitudes:
Gaetz also slammed his Republican colleagues for simultaneously saying that we don’t know enough about marijuana to legalize it while at the same time refusing to change policies that hinder scientific studies that could shed more light on its effects.
“A lot of the older Republicans say, ‘well, there’s not enough research to justify rescheduling,’ and then they stand in the way of the research,” he said. “It’s so stupid that we won’t allow common-sense proposals because there’s not enough research and then they have laws that block the research. We should act like adults here.”
Getz has previously revealed that he has discussed marijuana reform with the president in the Oval Office, but has been reluctant to provide details about the content of those conversations.